MPD runs as a daemon. Configure MPD to run either as a system service, or (more typically) run it directly as your user:
MPD does many traditional music player things, like:
What MPD doesn’t do is let a user directly control that stuff. Sure, we could telnet to localhost:6600 (or wherever MPD is configured to listen), but generally we’ll want to use on the numerous music player clients that provide an interface between the user and MPD.
$ telnet localhost 6600 Trying ::1... Connected to localhost. Escape character is '^]'. OK MPD 0.20.0 stats uptime: 1412 playtime: 16 artists: 768 albums: 540 songs: 6801 db_playtime: 1902630 db_update: 1513708491 OK ^] telnet> Connection closed.
MPD comes with one very simple command-line client called
mpc may not be friendly enough to be your everyday music player, but it’s great for learning about MPD.
Play with the commands described by
$ mpc Django Reinhardt - All the Things You Are [paused] #7195/7773 0:03/2:55 (1%) volume: n/a repeat: off random: on single: off consume: off $ mpc help Usage: mpc [options] <command> [<arguments>] mpc version: 0.28 Options: -v, --verbose Give verbose output -q, --quiet Suppress status message -q, --no-status synonym for --quiet -h, --host=<host> Connect to server on <host> -P, --password=<password> Connect to server using password <password> -p, --port=<port> Connect to server port <port> -f, --format=<format> Print status with format <format> -w, --wait Wait for operation to finish (e.g. database update) Commands: mpc Display status mpc add <uri> Add a song to the current playlist mpc crop Remove all but the currently playing song mpc current Show the currently playing song [...]
Play some music:
$ mpc clear $ mpc findadd genre Blues $ mpc shuffle $ mpc play $ mpc help
Unless we specify a different configuration file when starting MPD, it looks for
$HOME/.mpdconf and falls back to
# See mpd.conf(5). bind_to_address "~/.mpd/socket" bind_to_address "127.0.0.1" replaygain "off" music_directory "~/Music" playlist_directory "~/.mpd/playlists" db_file "~/.mpd/database" log_file "~/.mpd/log" pid_file "~/.mpd/pid" state_file "~/.mpd/state" sticker_file "~/.mpd/sticker.sql"
(MPD defaults assume the existence of the
~/.mpd/ directory. Maybe it creates it? To be safe
See the sample configuration file.
After modifying the configuration file, restart MPD:
$ pkill -HUP mpd
MPD should automatically update its database when files in its music directory change. However, I sometimes need to prod it:
$ mpc update
MPD has one active playlist at a time, also called the queue. Save the current playlist to a file or load a different playlist:
$ mpc lsplaylists $ mpc save myfavorites $ mpc load jazz
Show songs in the current playlist, and clear the current playlist (“clear” is safe — it doesn’t destroy the contents of a saved playlist):
$ mpc playlist $ mpc clear
Load every library song into the current playlist:
$ mpc listall | mpc add
MPD loads and saves playlists in its
If we want to manipulate playlists outside of an MPD client, or to interchange playlists with other programs, there are few things to know:
MPD needs file names to have an
.m3u extension, like
MPD generally notices if we drop a new playlist in its playlist directory, but sometimes we need to run
Most programs expect m3u playlists to include full file paths, but MPD uses paths relative to the music directory by default.
We might want to change the above, but it’s nice to be able to stuff like:
$ mpc find genre Classical > ~/.mpd/playlists/Classical.m3u
ncmpcpp is a powerful but horribly-named Curses client.
Also, it’s default keybindings are not ideal for me.
See ncmpcpp(1) and
$ zcat /usr/share/doc/ncmpcpp/bindings.gz > ~/.ncmpcpp/bindings
My more vim-like key bindings:
def_key "k" scroll_up def_key "j" scroll_down def_key "ctrl-b" page_up def_key "ctrl-f" page_down def_key "l" next_column def_key "h" previous_column def_key "H" show_help def_key "L" show_lyrics
There are a couple of commands MPD only accepts over a unix socket connection.
socat to connect:
$ socat - UNIX-CONNECT:$HOME/.mpd/socket OK MPD 0.20.0 config music_directory: /home/paulgorman/Music OK
Some versions of
netcat (e.g., OpenBSD’s) also support this, like
nc -U ~/.mpd/socket.
Sun Dec 31 10:48:14 EST 2017